Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Great British Bake Off

George looks bright in himself but continues to suffer from a jippy tummy. A dog with the runs is not too much fun, especially when everyone has to tip toe carefully past caramel coloured puddles on the kitchen floor. The vet has given him the once over and seems fairly unconcerned with his condition, George came away with a fun ride in the car...
I came away 60£ lighter and with a pharmacy of medications under my arm.

With the Olympics now finished, there is a new competition that has sparked the old imagination and interest and that is the quintessentially British pastime of competitive cake making!


The first episode of The Great British Bake Off (BBC Tuesday Nights) made for a fascinating watch. 12 amateur bakers from all over the UK produce their own very individual set of buns and cakes against the clock and in competition with each other. Silver Fox Judge Paul Hollywood and Virginia McKenna look-a-like cook Mary Berry are on hand to assess the confectionery while the pithy presenters Mel Giedroyc & Sue Perkins eek up the pressure by popping back and forth in the marquee when oven disasters rear their ugly head!Of course the whole thing is contrived as hell. The bakers are not just housewives from the local WI they are "serious" cooks "with a passion " for baking and each has their own back story which is set up to endear them to the general public.... we have an Asian student, and Black midwife, a ginger computer looking geek, some sexy looking young men and pleasing looking women, a vicar's wife and even the obligatory elderly Professor type who plays the cello......I was half expecting to see an Albanian lesbian in a wheelchair cooking away in the back but I think that the producers bottled it.....
Judges Hollywood and the delightful Mary Berry
Having said this, I must admit that I really enjoyed the whole , bunting covered slice of "middle England"
Everything is presented in a Kath Kidston way......of butter icing, doilies and "more tea Vicar?" 
An Ideal panacea to Olympic withdrawals and a resurgence of the bloody recession

32 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Glad to hear that George is NOT seriously ill. (big oops in first attempt - sorry !!)

    I agree about the bake-off. It's a wierd concept but I find it addictive. It usually gets better once a few have been weeded out and only the really good ones are left.....I shall be glued to the telly every Tuesday until the final.....sad or what !!

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  3. I DEMAND the return of Delia - or perhaps Mary - and good old-fashioned 'straight to camera' instructional TV cooking shows with no fuss, no music, funny camera angles or populist baggage. So I'm afraid that I quickly turned this one off, which is a shame because I was looking forward to seeing Mary.

    Now for the controversial points...

    Most people with red/auburn hair don't call themselves "ginger" for a whole load of reasons that I won't go into here! BUT what was interesting about the Olympics coverage was how many folk WERE seen (athletes, that is)with red or auburn hair.

    As a member of a minority, it's always really noticeable how few folk with red/auburn hair are chosen(yes, chosen) to appear in the media or in public life in general when compared to our number in the population - particularly in the North and/or so-called 'Celtic' regions of Britain.

    When 'we' do appear, the so-called "ginger" hair becomes the focus - and often in very disparaging ways...cue Charles Kennedy, Rebekah Brooks, etc., and is often conflated with particular character traits that are usually negative or unfavourable. This leads to discrimination in all kinds of immeasurable ways.

    I mean, do we all drink too much, tell lies, and are angry all the time? Oh, hang on ... don't answer that question, because I guess what the answer would be....LOL

    My childhood incited me to hate my colouring and appearance, although (strangely) I quite like it on some other people. As I get older, I see the 'heritage' in my skin and hair colour, and although it complicates how I might reflect upon my identity, it is nonetheless interesting.

    Nx

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  4. Oh dear, why do people have to compete with each other to bake buns and cakes? Isn't it enough to enjoy the baking in your own kitchen? Why this developing mania for competing on every possible subject and activity? Sorry, but I don't get it.

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  6. oh nige
    I love the Mary quote
    "cakes are good for you.... they lighten your life!"
    ps see you on the 21st

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  7. ps I have never considered you as a ginger nige!

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  8. Well, I love it. It is as you so rightly say, a bit of a pick me up after the end of the Olympics.
    Hope the dicky doggy tum is better very soon.
    Anne.x

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  9. Go George go! Or not as the case maybe...not sure about the TV programme, seems a bit half baked to me..

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  10. For some unknown reason, we actually saw part of this last night and rather enjoyed it; especially the Union Flag cakes!!!

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  11. We've just finished our most recent season of Aussie Masterchef which is great fun and very entertaining if you like that sort of thing. It's a downward slide to Summer and awful TV from now on. Good thin it will son be BBQ time.
    Cheers
    PS hope George is better soon

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  12. I never notice my red hair till other people mention it.

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  13. Cakes? What cakes? I only saw Paul Hollywood....

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  14. Forget the cakes...is George feeling better yet?
    Jane x

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  15. Have you considered giving George a spoonfull of yogurt to get his gut going again How's that for an allerative little ending.

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  16. I am secretly in love with Paul Hollywood. I believe that he is secretly in love with me too.

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  17. I'm with Nick...and I'm probably being very culturally obtuse, but I feel like this American passion for WINNING has expanded beyond our borders via tv, movies, etc. So now everyhing has to be a blood competition.

    Ah, on what would have been her 100th birthday, I do miss Julia Child!

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  18. "bloody" competion--though perhaps there's a bit of truth in my typo, eh?

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  19. mr Hollywood IS a bit like the cake eater's crumpet!

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  20. Paul Hollywood? Looks a bit of a smarmy git to me....

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  21. I feel like I'm on the outside of the biggest in joke in GB (the new England)

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  22. I think Mr Hollywood is aptly named!

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  23. A "dicky doggy tum". Only a Brit could come up with that turn of phrase!!!!!!!!

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  24. Love the return of Bake off...and Paul is very easy on the eye!

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  25. That Hollywood chap is stealing your style John! I thought it was a picture of you at first!

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  26. e
    you soft talker you x

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  27. That Union Jack one with bits of blue cake - yuck.

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  28. My 'cup of tea' this would be!! I wonder if the CBC will copy this program over here? Probably not, as it wouldn't attract the 'numbers'!!
    Re the 'red hair' discussion by Nigel. There was a program here on the CBC I believe about the 'concern' that this gene for red/ginger hair is disappearing and they, researchers I presume, predict that in a couple of generations it will vanish completely. There ya go!

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  29. Currently labouring through the "Masterchef Australia Allstars" - a reality cook show where they've brought back all the previous winners and runners-up of Masterchef Australia (bar one who's off doing his own thing in Japan or somewhere) and they are competing in eliminations against each other.

    Down to the final three!

    You'dve loved last nights episode, on board HMAS Choules cooking lunch of exotic Australian seafood for 100 "Australian Heroes" - the larger part of the crew of HMAS Choules.

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  30. I would have loved it johnno!

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  31. Wish we'd get that show.

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  32. http://www.masterchef.com.au/all-stars-episode-guide.htm

    Hope it opens for you - whole episodes are viewable on-line out here! Look to Episode 15 for the HMAS Choules cook-off.

    btw - worth googling Claude Choules - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Choules and also HMAS Choules - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Choules_(L100) as they are both interesting stories!

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